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FoodWords Draft

Food and Society Workshop, Tahsha LePage, Phoebe Ward, Monica Saralampi, Martha Megarry, Maria Frank, Matt Gunther, Authors

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Bio Page

Kirsten Valentine Cadieux explores social and spatial relationships related to landscape and food production. Using art and social science approaches to society-environment relations and specifically the political ecology and moral economy of agrifood systems, she builds publicly-engaged participatory research processes for people to learn about differing ways of understanding environments, and to practice performing and justifying environmental and food system interventions in collaborative ways. Her writing and teaching focus on how social and environmental practices build a basis for how people negotiate their aspirations for equitable, healthy, and interesting food systems and residential landscapes.

Valentine’s work falls into three main research areas:

1. Food system improvement dialogues: How do people with differing strategies for supporting or improving the health and sustainability of food systems interact? How do different translation frameworks mediate encounters between these different constituencies or sectors of food systems? What are the functions of different strategies for framing and representing the central tensions and contradictions related to contemporary and historical problems in food system governance?

2. Green infrastructure and community food security: How do social organizations create and respond to land-use changes involved in the processes of urbanization, urban dispersion, and urban bounding, especially as the legitimacy of food production is negotiated as an urban or urban-edge land use? How can collaborative processes for planning land use and institutionalizing healthy food systems be integrated to construct and maintain greenspace that addresses persistent and differential issues of environmental stress, productive land access, rural-urban migration pressure, and sustainability in urban ecology?

3. Agroecology and urban food soil: Human activities have problematically concentrated nutrients and wastes in urban areas, and the management of persistent and emergent food-related land uses has treated these largely in terms of the potential contamination of foods. Less is known about the landscape-scale possibilities of food-producing green infrastructure, including the potential of common gardening methods and other food land uses for building soil structure and organic matter and intercepting water and nutrient flows. This line of research considers dynamics of urban food soils with a goal of bringing together scientific tools with popular “citizen science” to understand urban food soils in socio-ecological context.

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